glad to have you with us on this edition of "newsline." it's thursday may, 21st. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. italian police say they have arrested a man suspected of being involved in a deadly attack in tunisia. they say he arrived in the country on a migrant boat. they describe him as a 22-year-old from morocco. they say the man crossed the mediterranean with migrants on a smuggler's boat in february. italian authorities say they ordered him to leave the country
but don't know where he went after that. his arrest is getting criticism from groups. tunisia is hunting for several suspects on the attack on the bardo museum in due nis. 22 people were killed. in other news, the foreign ministers of thailand, malaysia and indonesia, have held emergency talks on the thousands of migrants adrift off their coasts. most of the migrants are row hin ga migrants from myanmar. they have agreed to continue to shelter them. the thai foreign minister withheld a decision suggesting that a legal progress was needed. >> reporter: amid increasing international pressure, the foreign ministers of the three countries held a meeting in malaysia. the united nations, the international organization for migration and others, released a joint statement.
they asked neighboring countries, including indonesia, malaysia, and thailand to allow the migrants to land to save their lives, protect their rights and respect their human dignity. >> indonesia and malaysia agreed to continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those 7,000 migrants still at sea. we also agree to offer them temporary shelter, provided that the settlement and repat ration process will be done in one year by the international community. >> reporter: beginning may 10th, more than 2,000 migrants landed in indonesia and malaysia. prompting the two countries to refuse to accept anymore. the myanmar government does not accord citizenship to the row hin ga people. u.s. officials say since a clash with buddhists three years ago that resulted in many deaths more than 80,000 rohingya people have left myanmar in migrant
smuggle boats and by many other means. many of the migrants are victims of human trafficking. and thailand is a main staging point in this illegal business. multiple mass graves have been found, one after another in jungles in southern thailand where apparent victims of human trafficking have been buried. two boats carrying more than 400 people believed to be rohingya were rescued by local fishermen on wednesday off acheh province in western indonesia. >> translator: we got on the boat to look for a muslim country. either malaysia or indonesia. but it doesn't matter what country it is. as long as it's a muslim country. >> reporter: officials at the united nations say 4,000 people are drifting at sea and the
world body is demanding a quick response to the crisis. nhk world, bangkok. u.n. secretary-general, moon moon -- ban ki-moon says an invitation for him to visit an industrial site in north korea has been withdrawn. he is currently visiting south korea. he was scheduled to visit the interkorean industrial park on thursday. north korean officials told him that permission for the visit had been rescinded. >> this decision by pyongyang is deeply regrettable. however, i as the secretary general of the united nations will not spare inport to encourage the dprk to work with the international community for peace and stability on the korean peninsula. >> ban said he has not been
given any explanation about why the visit was cancelled. north korean media have also not given a reason for the move. north korean officials say they're developing submarine launched ballistic missiles. to boostefense capability and they're warning japan, the united states and south korea that they're always ready to strike. the state run korean news agency on wednesday quoted a spokesperson for the north's national defense commission. a report released on may 9th said the country had test fired a ballistic missile from a submarine at sea. the latest statement says the north's development of nuclear weapons had entered a new phase of miniaturization and diversity. it says the country's short medium and long range rockets are exhale of hitting targets with a high agree of accuracy. south korea's defense minister says the north's submarine base ballistic missiles will be ready for use as weapons in four to five years.
members of an association representing zoos and aquariums in japan have voted for change. they say they will no longer get dolphins in drive hunts. the majority of member facilities voted to remain a part of the association of zoos and aquariums. many of the dolphins in japanese aquariums were captured through drive fishing in western japan. conservation groups have long criticized the hunt and the oscar-winning u.s. documentary "the cove" prompted global scorn in 2009. the association will take further efforts to breed dolphins but some aquariums are raising concern. facilities across japan have been trying to improve their
breeding technology for half a century. only a limited number have reported success. >> dolphin breeding does not only concern aquariums, the association as a whole should work on it. and involvement of research institutes is also necessary. people working to clean up communities near fukushima daiichi have reached a nile milestone. they have started to decontaminate the last of 11 municipalities. the work in futaba will cover about 4% of the community. that is where the radioactive levels are relatively low. it includes residential areas and farmland. the work had been delayed over how to rebuild the town. contractors have begun to cut grass and remove dirt from ditches. the work in the other ten
municipalities has ended or is underway. the work in futaba is scheduled to be complete by next march. >> translator: we hope to finish the work as soon as possible. >> 96% of futaba is still designated as a no-entry zone. town officials are asking for that part to be decontaminated as well but no decision has been made yet. investors around the world want to know when the u.s. federal reserve will raise its key interest rate and they are getting some clues. ai uchida joins us with more. >> up to know. people thought that the earlier the rate hike could come would be june. but policymakers just released the minutes of their april meeting and shows many are cautious about raising rates so soon. many policymakers think it is unlikely that economic data available by next month would
provide sufficient condition first a rate hike but they didn't rule it out completely. as son anticipated the economy will improve by then. many think that the economy slowed in the winter due to trans transitory factors. but they are worried about the effects of a stronger dollar. members are concerned that lower energy prices are not boosting consumer spending as much as they thought they would. the policymakers will consider the proper time for the rate hike by examining the gross domestic product and employment figures. the next clue will be fed chair janet yellen's speech on friday. so the fed doesn't appear too eager to raise the key rates soon. let's see how markets are taking in the news. ramin mellegard joins us with that and is at the tokyo stock exchange. what are you seeing so far? >> a lot of eyes and ears on
that fed minutes and the big focus there. but a little bit of caution due to yemen which caused a bit of a spike in crude oil price. but let's see how it is affecting the nikkei and the topix. both in the positive there. overnight on wall street the fed minutes caused stocked to go up briefly. looking at the dow jones industrial average and the nasdaq there. the dow jones and the nasdaq there. the nikkei rose to its highest level. however, some analysts still suggest that the pace of growth needs to be boosted. and a lot of focus now on what the bank of japan may do or steps it may take at its policy
meeting which of course kicks off today and wraps up on friday. the latest assessment of japan's economy describes it as being in a moderate recovery trend and a lot of investors want to see if the boj upgrades that view which the government did back in march. they want to see if that will go step for step and that's going to be a big focus. >> and looks like the dollar broke above a key level against the yen. what can you tell us about currencies this morning? >> definitely. we hit another key level there. it has been trading above 121 yen as you can see right there. that is the first time in more than two months. a lot of traders were led to believe that the fed will hold off on raising rates. the dollar is firm against the euro. the single currency is coming under pressure there, the possibility that the european central bank may increase its quantitative easing in the next few months greece's ability to
meet its debt repayment is a concern as well looking at currencies and bonds. looking at asian indexes the shanghai composite outperforming a lot of indexes. the manufacturing pmi for china in may due in a couple of hours will be a major guide for investors this morning. and of course any japanese shares related to china's economy that's going to be a big focus. i'll keep track of all of that. but for now that's all for me. back to you. >> thanks for keeping us up to date. many japanese companies are reporting strong earnings for the business year. the non-life-insurance sector no exception there. executives at three groups announced record profits. tokyo marine hold suggestion up 34% from the previous year.
ms & ad holdings was up nearly 46%. and sompo japan nipponkoa holdings had an increase of almost 23%. they increased premiums for car owners. other positive factors include fewer natural disasters and a strong perform this their overseas business. managers at a member of the ms & ad group plan to raise base pay for the workers by 2%. two other insurers are also set to increase employees basic wages for the first time in 20 years. for many japanese people work used to come before family but there is growing awareness of the need to improve the balance between work and life. more firms are encouraging employees to take child care
leave. welfare ministry officials are giving special recognition to employers who do that. a company in northeastern japan is one of the first to qualify. nhk world's hinoko fujita has the story. >> reporter: this company sells industrial ice makers and refrigerators. all of its female employees who took maternity or child care leave in the past five years have returned to work. 40% of the male employees took child care leave when their wives gave birth. that's 20 times the national average. mayumi takahashi is raising three daughters. she is back at work after take maternity and child care leave when each was born. it's 5:00 p.m. she hands over what work she has left to colleagues when she leaves the office early. she has been promoted despite
working shorter hours. >> translator: i will work hard so i can move up the ladder while raising my children. >> reporter: the company began promoting child care leave after losing a number of workers in quick succession. around ten years ago, the company was using about 70 of its 400 workers a year before they reached retirement age. many said the company put too much emphasis on sales performance. president noboyuki ta-da says that the high turnover rate made it difficult to maintain good customer relations. he said the firm suffered. he tried to change the atmosphere to retain workers, many of whom are relatively young. he thought that encouraging employees to take child care leave would be a good strategy.
>> translator: i intended to raise worker's motivation and give them a better work/life balance. >> reporter: the general affairs department is in charge of promoting child care leave. when a worker's wife is approaching delivery they encourage the men to take child care leave. uichii abe was the first to take child care leave. >> translator: i was able to help my wife during my leave. i hope my co-workers will also be able to do that. >> reporter: employees who take time off are required to submit
reports about their experience for other employees. >> reporter: i feel relaxed about taking maternity and child care leave. >> reporter: the company sales have jumped 50% in five years even though more workers are taking child care leave. company officials believe employees are more engaged in their work and that customers are more trusting because the sales staff is the same. >> translator: i realized it's possible to increase sales if everyone raises their motivation by keeping a good work-life balance. >> reporter: the company's welfare goes hand in hand with its employees' well being. a big part of that is making sure the workers take leave to lead more fulfilling private lives. hinako fujita nhk world, sendai. >> that's the latest in business for this hour. i'll leave you with a check on
>> reporter: windsor cast system the official resident of queen elizabeth. visitors to the castle's garden last month enjoyed this double cherry blossom. >> it's absolutely beautiful. it's a wonderful color. and against the blue sky, it looks wonderful. >> reporter: the former head gardener grafted and raised these trees from cuttings he obtained from japan 22 years ago. john bohn was one of the uk's best-known gardeners. part of his job involved searching the world for flowers and plants to catch the public's attention. one day he found a book on japanese cherry blossoms. he was drawn to the large petaling and the colors of the double cherry. he asked the author for some cuttings. this is a former schoolteacher
from the northern most prefecture of hokkaido. he has spent years breeding cherries to grow in the cold climate of his island. he has created more than 100 varieties. he was thrilled to receive a letter from the royal gardener. but he soon became anxious. >> translator: i was nervous and not sure what to do. i thought even if i sent the cuttings to mr. bond he would be upset if they failed to grow. how could i make amends if they failed. >> reporter: but bond's enthusiasm won asari over. the japanese gardener maintained their correspondence. he eventually sent some varieties he thought would
succeed in england amid the weak sunshine and cool summers. it turned out he judged correctly. of the 50 odd varieties he sent 56 took root and the flowers bloom today. bond has passed away but royal cherries continue to thrive. >> it is great thanks to mr. asari that we are able in england tone joy england to enjoy his many cherry trees. >> reporter: two gardeners from england visited asari last month. he took them to the park where he obtained the cuttings for bond. >> translator: i took cuttings from this tree to send to england. >> reporter: here is a new variety of cherry tree that bears bond's name.
asari says thoughts of the royal family inspired this variety. he says it will bloom elegantly in crimson. >> to know his memory is being respected in japan is very important for us. so we feel very honored. >> translator: i hope the uk and japan will remain friends for a long time. i will be glad if my cherry trees contribute even a little to our friendship. >> translator: bond and asari never met but the cherry trees they love are deeply rooted in windsor. grafts have been taken to eight over parts in the uk and now a new cherry tree symbolizes their friendship is about to blossom. it's time now for a check of the weather. many people in tokyo woke up
hearing thunder and heavy rain. but now, residents are seeing sunny, blue skies, meteorologist robert speta join us us with the latest in world weather. >> exactly. and what we are looking at for the rest of the morning is much fairer conditions. for some of you like me who wake up exceptionally early you might have woke up earlier than normal because we had the pre-dawn thunderstorms out there. we had that lightning flashing and it wasn't just in the tokyo area. you saw fairly heavy rainfall. yamanoshi with winds upwards of 93 kilometers per hour and conditions are improve. take a look at the satellite picture. you have the rainy season front which is really out here to the southeast. but separately, a low is passing over hokkaido and extending off that we have this line of instability that move aid cross
kanto. but you see the tail end is moving off to the east. so that is showing us that the high pressure is work in. fair conditions throughout the day but maybe a bit muggy out there for most of you. i mentioned the rainy season front. not all of japan is look at beautiful weather. parts of the southern japanese islands the rainy season did start here yesterday and the showers continue to kick in. some areas could see upwards of 190 millimeters of total rainfall. that's on top of which has been reported out here. in hong kong's airport one report about 200 millimeters in the past two hours. and the forecast is calling for more rain showers and thunderstorms over the course of the next several days even in naha cloudy skies but the showers kicking back in by saturday. do want to mention where you need the rain is in the western u.s.
exceptional drought continuing to take place out here. this isn't going to be helping out considerably but it's welcomed. we have a low. it's bringing some showers and going to be scattered across the region. snowfall possibly in the higher elevations in california. now over to the central u.s. separately we have severe weather in the forecast across the central plains. several reports of large hail has been reported out here. we could be seeing that with this low especially in the texas region in the gulf states with that rainfall and the moisture coming in from the south is causing a threat of flooding and it is bringing rough weather to the west with dry thunderstorms and scattered showers in the albuquerque region. impressive imagery of the slieng strikes out there. something to watch out for with the same low. separately off to the north, temperatures cooling down. in chicago a warmup from yesterday. we had a high in the single
digits but toronto up to 19 for you. in europe, i do want to mention the cutoff low is still here and still lingering. if you are in italy you are looking at heavy rain some areas 60 to 80 millimeters. there is a threat of flooding out there for you and the chance of strong to severe thunderstorms as this continues to track east. warsaw at 17. but kiev 27 on your thursday. i'll leave you now with your extended outlook.